Spring Break is just around the corner, and we have some great ideas within driving distance for you! So — even if you’re planning last minute, or you can only manage to travel for a few days or a long weekend, we’ve got you!
Chattanooga is a very pleasant, short drive down I-24. You not only get amazing views — but also affordable, family fun! We love to visit Rock City when the weather permits. You can see seven states from up high and get to experience some seriously enchanted fun. Ruby Falls and the Incline are also fun stops! While you are there, head downtown to the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Don’t leave town with stopping by Clumpies for some tasty ice cream! Check this post for more Chattanooga ideas.
Is outdoor adventure more your style? Head on over to the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. There truly is something for every age here. From hiking to live shows to outlet shopping to buffets of food — this area is packed with things to do. We love to walk down the streets of Gatlinburg checking out the candy kitchens and eating samples, shopping, and taking in the views! The new pedestrian bridge is a big hit, as well as Ober Gatlinburg, the Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Anakeesta and the Island at Pigeon Forge. But that is just the tip of the iceberg!
If you’re looking for an educational good time, Huntsville is a quick drive. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is a must see! Northern Alabama is also home to many lakes, rivers, parks, and green spaces. While in town, plan a day outdoors. If your kids like animals, there is a fun, drive through safari park — Harmony Park Safari. Harmony Park is a federally licensed nature preserve of free-ranging exotic and endangered animals. Drive through a two-mile route to see zebras, zebus, antelope, buffalo, a camel, ostriches, giraffes, a kangaroo and tortoises, then park to visit the reptile house. But be sure to bring cash, as cards are not accepted! Check this post for more Huntsville ideas.
The capital of the Peach State has so much to offer for a family getaway! Downtown Atlanta is a great place to stay because most sites are walkable. The Georgia Aquarium is a must see and is home to over 120,000 animals! Centennial Olympic Park is a great place to let the kids run off their energy and enjoy the sunshine and play in the fountains. Next door to the park is the Coca-Cola Museum, a really cool place to learn about the history of one of the most popular and iconic beverages of the world. (And you get to taste samples of sodas from around the world!) You can do a tour of CNN, ride the Sky Wheel, see the College Football Hall of Fame, visit The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and check out the Atlanta Zoo.
If you are wanting to travel west toward the Mississippi River, check out Memphis! The Bass Pro Shop in the Pyramid building has fun for everyone including a bowling alley, restaurant, fish, shopping — and even a hotel! Another great place to visit is the Children’s Museum. The staff is super helpful, and there are many fun, yet educational, activities for the kids to enjoy. My other picks? The Memphis Zoo (free on Tuesdays for Tennessee residents, some exclusions apply), and the Civil Rights Museum (free on Mondays, 3p-closing, some exclusions apply). If you’ve got an Elvis fan in your midst, you can’t miss Graceland. And you can never get enough of that Memphis-style BBQ!
St Louis is a good choice if you want to get away — but still want to stay within a drive-able distance with your kids. They have just added a fun new area at Union Station! There is a new aquarium, ferris wheel, miniature golf, mirror maze, ropes course, and an old-fashioned soda fountain. That is enough to keep you busy for days! The St Louis Zoo offers free admission (shows are extra) and is a great stop. I also recommend the Magic House Children’s Museum and the Arch (beware, the cars for riding to the top are TINY!). If you are a baseball fan, the season is opening soon, and you can check out a game!
Staycation in Nashville
There is nothing wrong with staying in town and being a tourist for the week! We love to go check out the murals around town, visit the parks and greenway trails, eat amazing local cuisine and explore the history and culture this town has to offer! The Frist Art Museum, the Adventure Science Center, and the Country Music Hall of Fame are great places to visit! Need more staycation ideas? We’ve got you covered.